My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ryan Betancourt has got it made: he’s reached the top tier of the tennis world thanks to a wild-card entry to the US Open. Ryan is meeting players he has idolized for years, including his teenage crush, Josh Andrews. But he isn’t ready for the politics and manipulation that come with life at the top.
Josh Andrews is closeted, private, and difficult to get to know. He’s been playing tennis since he could walk, won his first tournament at five, and was sent to Spain at thirteen to attend a tennis academy. Before a knee injury forced him into a year off, he was ranked the number one player in the world. Now he’s back—and intent on winning.
Josh and Ryan first meet at a tournament in Brisbane. Ryan excitedly greets Josh only to be ignored. Crushed, he realizes the golden boy of tennis isn’t all he seems. Only in the team-building environment of training for the Davis Cup does Josh open up enough for them to grow closer. Their developing relationship is everything Ryan ever wanted, and he is blissfully happy. But inevitably they have to play against each other, and everything changes.
So what did I think?
The Unforgiving Minute is a wonderful romance set in the world of professional tennis. What makes it so enjoyable is the blend of sport and romance, perfectly balanced to make a really absorbing story.
The characters were great including gorgeous leading men Josh and Ryan, fabulous friend Elena, Ryan’s mother and the various tennis support crew. It even had cute puppies! The bad guy was suitably bad (even though it was quite obviously who he was) and got his comeuppance.
Tennis provides the back drop for this book and we are taken all around the world as both Ryan and Josh compete in various tournaments. There are sections of the game play described and done so in such a way that you can actually visualise the play. I enjoyed the on-court time and also the behind the scenes view of the tennis circuit. It all felt very realistic.
Ryan and Josh’s relationship was wonderful to watch evolve and they balance each other perfectly. Josh has grown up with a domineering father pushing his tennis career and has played tennis since he was young. He is a guarded and private person. As we gradually come to learn more about Josh and some of his experience, particularly at the hands of the bad guy, it is easy to understand why he is closed off. Ryan’s upbringing has been very different to Josh’s. Ryan’s parents don’t really even follow tennis and are very accepting and loving of him. This contributes to his outlook on life. Ryan is so easy to love and so enthusiastic.
The romance between these men is special. Both, at one time or another, make a sacrifice for the other. They understand the competitive world they both live in and are able to offer support. It is nice that the story balances the emotional elements of the relationship with the very hot sex scenes.
The ending was slightly predictable but totally the type of ending that I love – grand gestures and big happy endings!
To find out more about Sarah Granger and her books, visit her website.